All posts tagged coffee

Perpetual Audition

Published March 28, 2018 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I watch entirely too much television. There is an episode of the Simpsons where Lisa unmasks town founder Jebediah Springfeld as a fraud.  Over the course of the episode, auditions are being held for Town Idiot.

An actor presents his resume for Panicky Idiot #4.

I feel like I am constantly in the running for this role.

This is a particularly trying week. It is Holy Week and my class is presenting the Living Stations of the Cross on my favorite day, Maundy Thursday.

The whole concept is a big adventure for me; I have seven boys and two girls. All of my boys came back from Spring Break obsessed with farts and other inappropriateness. Still, I have faced worse. On Monday, Jesus was absent and Mary, the mother of God went home with Pink Eye.  While Jesus is back, Mary is not. So I am now doing the 15 stations of the cross with 8 students.

Not only that, I have morning duty this week, which means I get to stand out on the curb from 8:30-8:50 in the morning. It rained yesterday, and today,  a bunch of ants crawled up my pant leg and now I am covered with itchy pink welts.  I don’t get a free period for another hour, so I can’t get any benadryl, which, of course, will zombify me. Right now, Zombie is better than Panicky Idiot.

Both of these things are keeping me from focusing on a large section of my big picture. I am incredibly lonely, and I may have made a mistake that will perpetuate the lonely.  I know I can do a lot of stuff by myself.  That doesn’t mean I necessarily want to.

I probably can function without coffee.

No one wants to see me try.

I don’t mean to have a woe is me tone,mostly a Job is me.




Well, here’s the proof.

Published December 22, 2017 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Many years ago, 26 to be exact, I was hired as part of anti-gang program using theatre as a means of conflict resolution. (I know, I know, but I was young and I had hope and it paid well.)  This job turned into the first stage of my career as an arts educator. I spent over a decade teaching theatre at Inner City schools. It was worthy work, but low paid and very stressful. At the time I would often remark that I was the pawn between Good and Evil.

I meant it as a joke and a means to colorfully describe the fun found when teaching third graders to write fairy tale plays and the shock of discovering that top students had been expelled for gang violence.  Although my life is a little more evened out, there are days when I am reminded that I am probably still the pawn or at least the comic relief for the cosmos.

I got a lot of sleep last night so I thought I would get a jump on some things for next semester. (My class is presenting Mass again on January 12, and I wanted to get an idea of what the readings look like so I can at least be slightly prepared when the music teacher passive aggressives me the week before.)

Guess what the reading for that day is? It’s from the book of Samuel, who apparently used his words to complain about Saul for several grim passages. Now, this particular passage I find problematic because after a very wordy intro, it goes on to this:

“He will use your daughters as ointment makers, as cooks, and as bakers.
He will take the best of your fields, vineyards, and olive groves,
and give them to his officials.
He will tithe your crops and your vineyards,
and give the revenue to his eunuchs and his slaves.
He will take your male and female servants,
as well as your best oxen and your asses,
and use them to do his work.
He will tithe your flocks and you yourselves will become his slaves.
When this takes place,
you will complain against the king whom you have chosen,
but on that day the LORD will not answer you.”


My students are 9 and even my best readers would fall all over themselves laughing at saying  oxen and asses. I don’t even want to think about how I would explain what a eunuch is and why there is a place for them on this list.  Did I mention that my best readers include two ESL students, one of whom has a slight lisp.  (Guffaw all you want, I think I would find it funny if it wasn’t me.)

All of this gave me a headache, so I took a nap, and then headed out for my adventure.

One of my more challenging students gave me a $20 gift card to Barnes and Noble, and I have a coupon and wasn’t up to facing the wrath of Samuel, so I headed out.

As I entered I headed to the cafe for an Iced Coffee (It’s 75 degrees here and I can’t be expected to peruse books without caffeine.) I went to order and the Barista asked if he could get a name for the cup. I told him I had no idea what the cup wanted to be called, but that my name is Lynda. He wrote “Lynda’s friend” on the cup.

I did find a great book, had my coffee and have money left on my card.    So weird stuff and good stuff all in the same short space of my day is reasonable proof of my place in the universe.

That and I couldn’t find my car so at least three people followed me as I aimlessly looked for my car.   (Tee Hee)

You can’t have negative penguins! and other signs from the universe

Published April 3, 2016 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I heard the following words come out of my mouth today, “A Venti- Aised coffee with non-fat milk”

I have to say it took me by surprise, not just because I was having quaffing a giant coffee at 2:30 in the afternoon on a non-work day, but because my Texas Accent roiled forth like warm Dr. Pepper at a Haltom City Christmas Party. (Excellent with canned biscuit Monkey-Bread.)

My Texas accent only comes out when I am extremely tired, angry or drunk. (On one occasion all three. I sounded like a cast member from Blazing Saddles.) Considering it was 2:30 in the afternoon and I hadn’t interacted with many people, I can blame my drawl on tired.

And why, you may ask, am so tired? I’m tired because I worked at all three of my jobs this week. I am grateful for the work, and I do like knowing that I’m going to be able to feed myself and keep a roof over my head for a few more weeks, but I have to say that my ass is thoroughly kicked.

I am still enjoying the teaching thing. So far the only dangerous thing is that a Krispy Kreme is about to open a few miles away from one of my private students.   I am still struggling to find that balance between making a living and having a life.

There are signs that I am moving in the right direction.

Yesterday I got to teach something in my subject area: Social Studies, and lucky for me one of the classes was working on the Renaissance. (Studying it, not recreating it) and lucky for me, a large portion of my classical education involved the cultural history that time period.

I had a lively discussion with a bunch of sixth graders a few of whom are now terrified me. (Who knew that a vast knowledge of The Inferno was intimidating?)

The strangest thing happened at 2:30.  I somehow managed to get 20 fifth graders to work in silence. On a Friday.

I have no idea how I did it.

And then I had a few minutes after school to grab a beverage and relax, sort of, before meeting my student.  This is the same student who I had to goof into working last week was delighted and giggly to see me.  (It’s rare that anyone is so pumped to see me.)

This kid is so smart that he’s running rings around me. I am going to have to do quite a bit of studying this week to keep up with him. I was going through the steps of a division problem with him  and I was trying to get him to focus and I told him that he needed to set up the problem another way because he was going to have a negative number.  He started to get balky (Who can blame him? I get the same way about Math.) so I set up the problem in terms of penguins.

And you can’t have negative penguins.

Not without Aaised Coffee.

Sources say . . . .

Published November 26, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I’m not sure why I consider the Cracked website as a source for most of my information.

Here’s the headline array: 

6 Space Projects That Will Guarantee Aliens Will Hate Us

5 Eerily Specific Things Every Human Does Exactly the Same

The Real Reason You Wait: 6 ER Realities Not Seen On TV

5 Bad Jokes That Literally Ruined People’s Lives

How Many Martys Had to Die In Back To The Future?

6 Shockingly Outdated Problems The US Legal System Won’t Fix

And that’s just the beginning, I could spend hours spring boarding (or is that springing board?)  off of some of that information.  Without even reading any of the articles, I recall that I had a huge moment of self-awareness when I realized that EVERYONE turns over the pillow to look for the cool side.  Ever see a cat notice its own reflection? It was just like that, except with a slightly chunky third grader in a Catholic School Uniform.

I am not at all surprised that Aliens will hate us. Most of the world already hates us. Especially those parts of the world where people have to travel for miles to get clean drinking water and most of us won’t drink water unless it is chilled or in a plastic bottle that is going to loll around in a landfill until we are digging them up to create rafts to float around after the polar ice caps melt.

I’m really trying to stay off of the soap box, but I had a LOT of coffee today. My Amanda Friend enabled me.  As far as the Back to the Future thing; it’s not a new concept. It will actually make your brain ping or burp or whatever  you brain does (I don’t know you. My brain actually sends out a tiny gnome with a wee little pick axe to flail around.)

Think about it for a moment (That’s all the gnome will let me). Every single time Marty changed something, it made him a different Marty in the future. That means a Marty had to cease to exist.  (You’re welcome.) 

I had a complete and utter meltdown over the ending to Michael Chricton’s Sphere, movie and book.

IT DID NOT MAKE SENSE!  I won’t spoil the ending or anyone if they don’t already know it.  I was teaching at an alternative school when I read the book and I brought it in and sketched through the ending with some of the kids.  One by one they exclaimed, “But you can’t do that! It’s not . . . It doesn’t work out!” 

I felt vindicated and a bit cheated. 

But also grateful that I got to experience some time with a bright group of students who everyone else had given up on.

I am also grateful that I have the lucidity to be self-aware and the capacity to write and a wonderful computer on which to take my snark to dangerous new heights. 

Have a wonderful holiday, my American readers!  (Readers from other parts of the world, feel free to point and laugh at how we celebrate someone else’s generosity  by gorging ourselves at the trough of Capitalism.)

It all depends on the question

Published November 12, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

It’s no big secret that I am prone to slack. (If you did not know that, sorry to shatter your illusion. I would formally apologize but that would take effort.)

I don’t think I’m lazy, per se. It’s just that if nothing specific is required of me, I won’t do anything.

I get a lot done on days when I HAVE to do something. Days like today where I don’t have a specific time table I find myself discovering answers to seriously unimportant questions:

1) How much time can I waste watching Weird Al videos on Youtube? 45 minutes.

2) How hard is it to ignore my to do list? It’s the easiest thing about the list.

3) How many times will I say, out loud, to no one, I need more coffee?   Five times then I decide I will just suck the caffeinated residue at the bottom of the cup.

4) How many times will I bang my knee on the bottom of the desk before I actually move my chair the two inches it would take to avoid such a fate?  Somewhere upwards of twenty-five.

5) How long will I sit at the computer babbling about my own laziness before imparting actual knowledge? 67 Minutes and it depends on what you call actual knowledge

Todd Ray owns an operates The Venice Beach Freakshow in Los Angeles. He displays two headed creatures. Among these is a two headed snapping turtle named Thor and Loki.

The best part about the turtle is that it bit Todd.

I think it’s nature’s way of showing who is the real Freak at the Show.

Go get ’em Thor-Loki!

Am I out of my mind, or is it a figment of my imagination?

Published November 4, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Many moons ago, when I was mired in the swamp that is called Graduate School, one of the required classes was Theater History. The textbook for this class was Jack Watson’s A Cultural History of Theater. This is a great book, (although, I I have to say, Jack, I don’t think the $121.98 price tag is at all fair.)  because it aligns the theater world alongside the rest of the world, so if your village is starving and eating rat bones simmered with moss, you are not likely to churn out the prototype to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Suffice it to say, because a writer can only exist in the time and space they are currently occupying, everything happening around them is reflected in whatever it is that they are writing. [If you are at all interested in seeing how I have applied this very theory to my teaching (actual teaching, not just speechifying at the local coffee hut.) you can check it out here]

That incredibly long (and double parenthetical!) introduction is where I am today as I am about to start wadding together (I think the actual phrase is compiling and evaluating) past and present data in the field of education. I doing this mostly for fun, but also so I have something groovy in my portfolio to wow various and sundry folk who might call me for a job  interview.

I embrace my nerdity.

My research compilation will reflect everything that is happening around me. Today this includes a fascinating Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast (brought to you by the good people at How Stuff Works. com) This particular podcast is called “Is Free Will an Illusion?”

I have to say my mind was blown.

The idea is that because there are so many things that are controlled  by our subconscious, how do we know that are actually making the decisions for everything else? If we are aware of it does it exist?

Which means that it is impossible to go into anything with an open mind, which also means that all data is skewed.

I probably won’t mention that as  write everything up in my fabulous report for no reason. (Sung to the tune of a “A horse with no name”.)

I brought you here because I . . Am . . . Distracticus

Published July 30, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I don’t have a hard time getting started in the morning.  I have a hard time staying started.  If I don’t succumb to the siren song of Netflix on my tablet, which I have on the nightstand, because I can’t fall asleep without visual distraction like a normal person, and all I have to do to watch the next show is mash my paw on the touch screen, and if you don’t wake up completely, sometimes you will get a surprise, like Stan Smith screaming the American Dad theme song right in your ear! Fun times!

If I am able to  accomplish the impossible and actually get out of the bed, I will wander into the kitchen and then commence the morning stagger between the fridge for a mug of filtered water which I will then escort across the house to the Keurig ( I just now decided I should call the Keurig Kathy. It seems friendlier, and after all, Kathy protects the rest of the world from an uncaffeniated Writer Chick, so you should all really be nice to her.)

Once I have coffee I take the other chemicals that keep me from going on a nut punching spree. (It’s a delicate balance.)

After all of this, I have to harness my energy/rage/silly, etc and figure out what I should try to do with the day. It is at this point that I make the list of the bare minimum and then spend the rest of the day trying to avoid doing all of that until the last possible second. Then I just watch crime drama or something and go to bed and the whole process starts all over again.

This is why I need to get another job.

That and the fact that my financial situation is vastly approaching dire because of the massive life change brought on by the AWT and the EH’s dire transgression (World’s worst Roald Dahl story.)

So I am actively looking for a part-time or full time non-soul robbing job that would allow me to have a living wage (I know, horrifying concept, when McDonald’s won’t raise their prices the paltry SIXTY-EIGHT CENTS it would take to actually allow their employees to make the kind of money on which they would need to survive.

Ultimately I would like to find a job that would allow me to use my diplomas and credentials for good and not make me want to poke my eyes out with a melon baller and still allow me enough thought processes to write every day. It’s insane.

Especially when I realize that I just spent several minutes trying to explain how I get distracted and then distracted myself right up into a rant.

I should go ask Kathy for more coffee.